Former United National Congress Government Minister Trevor Sudama, greets Peoples National Movement (PNM) political leader Dr Keith Rowley (centre) and former PNM MP for San Fernando West Junia Regrello, at Sunday's unveiling of local government candidates to fight for seats in the San Fernando City Corporation.The meeting was held at the PNM's south regional headquarters, Navet Road, San Fernando. PHOTO by INNIS FRANCIS
Sudama - I am not PNM
"My own view is this. If the PNM is committed to these objectives, if it is committed to realising these goals, if it is committed to provide a new perspective for the development of Trinidad and Tobago, a new era of hope, then I will say that it has my b
NIKITA BRAXTON firstname.lastname@example.org
FOUNDING member of the United National Congress (UNC) Trevor Sudama has insisted that he is not interested in joining the People's National Movement (PNM) or any other political party.
"I'm a free agent but I support issues, I support good governance, I support integrity, I support commitment to country, commitment to proper values in government," Sudama said.
It was a surprise to many at the opening of the PNM's south regional office at Navet Street, San Fernando on Sunday, when Sudama, a former UNC Member of Parliament, took the stage.
Sudama said that he came to give advice on the role of a serious, functional and vibrant political party.
Sudama said that such a party should keep abreast of all the developments, be grounded on progressive principles of values, articulate clear goals and objectives and outline programmes policies and positions.
"We must also have procedures for the accountability of officials and representatives because we cannot speak about accountability in the wider society if we do not have accountability in our own organisation," Sudama said.
"My own view is this. If the PNM is committed to these objectives, if it is committed to realising these goals, if it is committed to provide a new perspective for the development of Trinidad and Tobago, a new era of hope, then I will say that it has my best wishes," he said.
Sudama told the crowd, "we are facing a very serious crisis in our society ... A very serious decline, a deep seated malaise in this country."
The former government minister said that the economy was stagnant, there is an upsurge in anti-social behaviours, unprecedented levels of lawlessness and corruption and arrogance of public officials.
He told reporters that back in 2010, he offered advice to the now Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar.
"I wrote her and told her what are my views on priorities to be addressed both as a party and government. That was January 2010. She had never responded ... I was a founding member of the UNC, but I believe that the party has changed into something that I cannot recognise today. It's not the party that I helped to form in 1989. I have distanced myself from them and they have distanced themselves from me," he said.
Sudama said that should he be criticised for speaking on a PNM platform, it will be "water on duck's back" but he said that it will give him an option to respond.
He described himself as a free agent and said that should he be invited by any organisation to speak, he will do so.
Leader of the PNM, Dr Keith Rowley said that Sudama had given "quality advice".
Rowley told reporters that the party always has its doors open.
Earlier the PNM presented its local government candidates vying to form part of the San Fernando City Corporation.
Rowley said that the party was also ready for by-elections in the St Joseph constituency and was monitoring developments.